Image Source: re-ply
At a time when current world events seem more like the plot of a dystopian horror flick than actual real life, finding glimmers of innovation and hope are the gems that keep us going.
One such example comes from the New York office of Australian architecture firm BVN, which recently launched a creative upcyling initiative called “re-ply.” The program repurposes plywood storefront barricades installed across NYC during quarantine lockdowns and protests as stackable, regulation-compliant, outdoor furniture sets for restaurants now offering sidewalk/outdoor dining as part of reopening efforts. As the economy opens back up, many restaurants now have the opportunity to offer outdoor dining – some for the first time ever – and securing the proper equipment and tools (like furniture) to do so can pose a challenge for many at a time when the industry has been hit hard.
Currently, restaurants can directly purchase the handcrafted and relatively affordable furniture kits that include tables, stools, and planters which may be used as seating dividers for social distancing, however, the re-ply campaign is also actively seeking sponsors to buy sets to be donated to restaurants that may otherwise not be able to afford such a critical investment during this difficult time.
This unique upcyling effort has multiple positive outcomes. First, materials that would otherwise be shipped to a landfill for disposal get a second life as well-designed outdoor furniture for those who need it. Second, a portion of all proceeds go toward Children of Promise, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit that supports and embraces the children of incarcerated parents in an effort to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system. At its core, the community-based “for New York, by New York” support and ethos of this initiative offers those in the region the opportunity to proactively get behind an effort that will make an immediate difference in their own backyard.
The re-ply organizers refer to their work as “repurposing a moment.” That it is, along with being a stunning example of how a little bit of ingenuity can easily convert trash to treasure for the greater good.
Posted by Karen